Favorite ThingsProducer/Talk-Show Host Jamie deRoy Shares Her Theatregoing ExperiencesWhich Pulitzer Prize-winning musical does deRoy deem a "game changer"?
April 06, 2016
Producer and performer Jamie deRoy will once again host her award-winning variety show, Jamie deRoy & friends, April 17 at Birdland, an evening benefiting The Actors Fund that will feature David Friedman, Cory Kahaney, N’Kenge, Howard McGillin, Robert Creighton and Brad Oscar. Here, the three-time Tony Award and eight-time MAC Award winner shares the performances that most affected her as part of the audience.
The Pajama Game – Original Broadway Production
My dad was an investor through Harold Prince. So later on in the run we went to New York, and through the kindness of Hal Prince, I got backstage and met John Raitt, Janis Paige and Eddie Foy, Jr. Years later, when I was co-producing Rick McKay’s Broadway: The Golden Age, Carol Burnett told a story of getting back to meet them when she first moved to New York. Then in 2005 at an Encompass Opera Gala when she was giving an award to Charles Strouse, she told a similar story. When she came offstage, I told her of my experience and my dad, etc. I said, “Just yesterday, I sent my parents to the revival for his 90th birthday.” She said, “I know – I spent the entire intermission talking to them!” What???
Again, my father invested with Hal Prince. This time I got to meet Gwen Verdon!! What can you say – a revelation. These two shows cemented my desire to be in the theater. I never thought of becoming a producer – I had my sights on being a Broadway performer!
No matter who I’ve seen do the lead role: Zoe Caldwell, Patti LuPone, Tyne Daly – just brilliant – the performances and the writing of the play by Terrence McNally.
Carmen Cusack in Bright Star
An absolute find!! WOW!!
Cynthia Erivo in The Color Purple
A star is born!!
I worked in the press office of Michael F. Goldstein when it first moved to Broadway, and to see it come to life again 40 years later was almost surreal.
A Chorus Line
A game changer! Donna McKechnie was my neighbor at the time. It was so inspiring, beautiful, groundbreaking: the Hamilton of its day!
Alec Guinness playing Dylan Thomas in Dylan on Broadway
I went back countless times. It was a master class in acting.
Benjamin Walker in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and, now, American Psycho
Gorgeous, charming and so talented!!
I saw him do a reading of my friend Barry Kleinbort and Joseph Thalken’s musical WAS as Frank L. Baum. Thought he was terrific then. Watched him in The Drowsy Chaperone, South Pacific, Follies and Cabaret, among many other shows, and now he has come into his own as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof. I am so proud of him.